Now I have a plant with her name and her ashes. The house is silent. I spend my time reading. I move from the sofa in the living room to the bed in the bedroom. Sometimes I go to the kitchen for some tea. I have not eaten much. I read about reincarnation. About the communication between spirit and physical world. Right now it does not sound so crazy. What if I try talking to her?

Last Monday I thought she had opened the door to get into bed with me. It was the wind that had moved the door. My heart thought it had recognized her voice. My eyes filled with tears. How can I forget her? To be honest, I did not do anything for her to be with me. She was the one that chose me.

My coworkers tell me the aching will stop. How can this silence stop being painful? Without her steps everything is silent. I used to be bothered by her movement around the house. It was distracting. She always poured tea at 2 pm. She reminded me I needed to eat and made me walk around the house. She did not like me sitting all day long.

I have reread the novels I read the year we met. The stories make me feel she is close by. The university is asking me when I will be coming back. There are some pending presentations. I have to write some articles. And I have to teach. I did not answer the email. On the desk, among the piles of books, there is the marble pot. I read her name and close the computer.

It happened on June 27th, 2021. I am not sure how much time has passed since then. Enough time, my assistant says. Why does everyone want me to forget? This silence makes me choke. Nights are even worse. I miss hearing her calm breathing at my side.

I have made up my mind to try a medium. It is so silly, but I want to try. Could it be that I could listen to her again? The medium’s schedule is crammed. My Lili has not been the only one to die in these times.

I have prepared myself to listen to her for days. In the mornings I wake up more cheerful. I comb my hair; I pour some coffee; I make breakfast. I remember she did not like me not eating anything in the mornings. But I do not eat; everything is tasteless. I sit to try to write. I just look at the blank page for hours. At 2 pm, I drink tea. I walk around the house. Then, I sit again.

The woman that comes to the house looks more like a scientist than like a medium. I smile at the idea. Lili loved finding out-of-place things. She then proceeded to place them in their natural place. What would she think about Miss Cora? I heard from some friends that she used to be a nurse. It makes sense to me. She had seen so many people die that one day she understood how to communicate with them. She lit some candles in the room. She asks me to move my things. She tells me to make the place more welcoming for Lili. I glance at my coffee cups and cigarette butts overflowing the ashtrays. The piles of books on the table. I go to the kitchen for a garbage can. I throw everything inside. I do not need any of these; I need her.

I place the pot with her name and ashes at the center of the table. The candles are on and the lights are off. I close my eyes. I cannot listen to anything. Miss Cora calmingly watches one of the fires.

After some hours she says it is a pity, the invocation has not worked. Her words sound like mockery. It is obvious for me that it has not worked. The house smells like burning wax and I am not closer to Lili. I sigh. It is ok, Miss Cora, here is your money. I know you did everything you could. Can we try again? I get the courage to ask. She tells me this pandemic has made her very busy because everyone is trying to talk to their loved ones. You know, they die without seeing their families. At hospitals, the dead get confused. It is lucky that Lili died at home. I feel a pang in my chest. Yes, it is lucky, I repeat.

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